I AM TONY MARTIN
I qualified in medicine and surgery at Guy’s Hospital, University of London in 1950, followed by four years in the medical branch of the Royal Air Force.
After further years of surgical training In Norwich, East Anglia I moved with my family over Christmas 1951 to Kampala, Uganda, where I specialised in head and neck surgery. Here, in this radically different setting, my understanding of medicine was transformed, seeing the widespread, long-term effects of malnutrition, disease, and handicap. The first result was the establishment of the school for deaf children in Kampala.
The underlying reason that saw me continuing research there for nearly ten years,was an interest in the origins of voice and speech, sparked by listening in puzzled wonder to the early vocalisations and language development of my young, growing family. The results were published by Springer-Verlag in 1981 in Voice, Speech and Language in the Child. Normal patterns of development were there contrasted across widely different ethnic backgrounds, which was the basic purpose of the research.
I was appointed Director in 1967 to the Nuffield Hearing and Speech Centre, a department of the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London. This is a postgraduate teaching hospital affiliated to the University of London. During these years I visited centres for such work in Amman in Jordan, Teheran, Beijing, Rhiyad, Istanbul and Ankara, and was responsible for the basic design and co-ordination of the multi-centred study Childhood Deafness in the European Community published in 1981.
I have been a lay Reader in the Anglican church since my return from East Africa, not least from the conviction that spiritual development on the one hand, and informed criticism of theological issues on the other, allow no other course than active involvement.
After I retired in 1993 I lived on the Isle of Arran where I unwittingly acquired several homeless cats, learning in the process something about the autonomy of non-Sapiens creatures; and jointly running a cafe-restaurant. In late 2007 I moved house and home to an even more beautiful part of the world, to Aotearoa New Zealand, to be nearer to my two daughters who reside here.
My interests have been in writing and graphic art, gliding, sailing and sea-kayaking, and simply being close to watery space, sea, rivers and streams, hills and woodland and the living creatures they are home to. And I am still struggling to learn to play the folk harp.